Commodification and Spectacle in Architecture: A Harvard by William Saunders

By William Saunders

Greater than ever, architectural layout is visible as a way to advertise advertisement targets instead of as an lead to itself. Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, for instance, easily can't be thought of except its meant function as a catalyst for the industrial revitalization of Bilbao and its skill to draw vacationer cash, despite its architectural benefits. A equipped atmosphere meant to seduce shoppers is prone to supply fast gratification than to ask self sustaining idea and mirrored image. yet how destructive, if in any respect, is that this unparalleled commercialization of architecture? Framed with a provocative advent by way of Kenneth Frampton, the contributions to Commodification and Spectacle in structure stake out numerous positions within the debate over the level to which it really is possible—or desirable—to break out from, withstand, or recommend believable possible choices to the dominant tradition of customer capitalism. Rejecting any dreamy nostalgia for an idealized current or previous within which layout is totally divorced from commerce—and, occasionally, celebrating the pleasures of spectacle—the person essays diversity from indictments of specific architects and opinions of the occupation to broader matters approximately what the phenomenon of commodification capacity for the perform of democracy and the overall healthiness of society. Bringing jointly a magnificent and sundry workforce of critics and practitioners, Commodification and Spectacle in structure might help to sharpen the dialogue of the way layout can reply to our hypercommodified culture. Contributors: Michael Benedikt, Luis Fern?ndez-Galiano, Thomas Frank, Kevin Ervin Kelley, Daniel Naegele, Rick Poynor, Michael Sorkin, Wouter Vanstiphout. William S. Saunders is editor of Harvard layout journal and assistant dean for exterior family members on the Harvard layout tuition. he's the writer of recent structure: pictures through Ezra Stoller. Kenneth Frampton is Ware Professor of structure at Columbia collage Graduate institution of structure, making plans, and renovation and writer of many books, together with Labour, paintings, and structure.

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I think that is a very limited form of branding. What we have been trying to do with Prada, for instance, is instead of trying to reduce it to its essence, we try to stretch it, so that more becomes possible instead of less. And that’s exactly the same idea that we’re trying to introduce for Europe. 3 But what is the subtle, nuanced, nonessentialist version of branding alluded to here? Thomas Frank, in his One Market under God, describes the allure of the new market order and the rise of its avatars, Rem’s progenitors: Just as the democratized, soulful corporation had arisen to resolve the problems of the hierarchical, elitist corporation, so a new breed of marketing thinker proposed a new conception of the brand.

Acoustics, light, lighting, air quality and air movement, heating, cooling . . what engineers know and do about these things (I exempt structural engineers from this critique) has become so narrow and formulaic that their expertises together can be said to form a chain of islands separated from each other, and from the mainland of design, by oceans of ignorance about architectural phenomena. These phenomena were once the chief source of architecture’s value and were attended to “automatically,” with, as it were, the DNA of traditional models.

That was my idea. I’ll see you in court. Not long ago, a former employee of OMA sued for what he claimed was the firm’s plagiarism of a design he had worked up as his thesis project. Although he lost the case after a lengthy trial, it was a fairly delicious moment and showed the real implications of the fatuous trademarking and copyrighting that have become a whimsical hallmark of Rem’s big books. Is he up to the implication? What will he do should Arjun Appadurai—who long ago developed a nuanced version of Rem’s mock-copyrighted and nearly empty concept of “scape”—raise an objection to the unacknowledged usurpation?

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